Thursday, January 13, 2011
During 2010, SHAPE magazine included Austin, TX, in its top 10 list of fittest cities in the U.S. It's young, vibrant lifestyle contributes to the population's bragging rights of being one of the less obese cities in America.
However, the psychographics of a population that is marked by a vibrant, fit lifestyle is not necessarily a trait tied to a younger demographic. Being fit and vibrant is an attitude that extends across generations. It is as much a state of mind as it is a lifestyle. This is a psychographic trait of long-time Austin residents that helped influence the attractiveness of the capital city to a younger population segment. The abundance of parkland, the flowing recreational resources of Lady Bird Lake, Barton Springs and their surrounding trails have been around longer than the average age of the city's residents. Today's old-timers in Austin have been taking advantage of these and other outdoor resources long before there were formal hike and bike paths. The formality of these things are mere extensions of a perspective of fitness and love of the outdoors that was birthed here long ago.
The photo of this gentleman was one of many captured in a slideshow by the Austin American-Statesman, the city's daily newspaper, in its photo summary that captures the essence of Austin during 2010. The photographer, Ralph Barrera, gives us a glimpse of a spirited man of 88 practicing his stroke at the Lions Municipal Golf Course in West Austin. Although tethered to his oxygen tank, you can detect the vibrant attitude of this man who loves taking advantage of one of the jewels that lures Austin outdoors. The gentleman is Cesar A. Salas, Sr., my dad. I'd say he has a winning perspective.
My perspective is that if we are not careful to guard these outdoor places that lure us, then we endanger the vibrant lifestyle that has attracted people to Austin since Angelina Eberly fired the city's canon so long ago. Although recognized as a Texas Historical Landmark, the Lions Municipal Golf Course may become mince meat if the UT System Board of Regents decides to fully pursue the recommendations for how best to leverage its real estate, which we have all come to love.